“I know I’ve said it before, but that’ll be it. I’m definitely done now”.
That was Bathurst St Pat’s lock Brent Dennis on Sunday afternoon, calling time on his playing days after leading his Saints to a 27-14 grand final victory over cross-city rivals Panthers at Cowra’s Sid Kallas Oval, doing so with a man-of-the-match effort.
Dennis, who won a premier league title with St Pat’s at the same ground in 2014, scored a double in the Saints’ win on Sunday and was simply superb.
“Four years ago after 2014 I never thought I’d be back here, with the way we finished that year I thought that’d be it but this was to help a mate and it’s finished up pretty well, so I’m done now,” Dennis said.
“I know I’ve said it before, but that’ll be it. I’m definitely done now.”
Dennis celebrated the victory alongside a number of his long-term teammates and friends, many of whom decided to return this year for one last hurrah, of sorts.
He admitted he had zero plans to play this year, too.
“It was a bit of a reunion I suppose,” Dennis laughed.
“I wasn’t expecting to come back but [Chris Osborne], captain-coach, called me and said ‘we’re going to Orange and we’ve only got nine players, are you a chance?’.
“I was never going to let him or the club down, then one game turned into a few more, we had a couple of good wins and then suddenly a few more of the old boys were sort of like ‘one in, all in’.
“You see that attitude with Matt Tilley driving back from Wollongong just for one last game.
“It’s hard to explain the feeling really I guess, really pleased with it.”
Dennis and the “older brigade” were all strong in the win, with St Pat’s leading 14-8 at half-time before the MVP scored a quick-fire double just after the break.
That stretched the lead to 26-8, with the Saints eventually winning 27-14.
“In terms of experience we knew we had the best team on the paddock, it was just a matter of whether the old legs would get us over the line or not,” Dennis laughed.